swell·​ing | \ ˈswe-liŋ How to pronounce swelling (audio) \

Definition of swelling

1 : something that is swollen specifically : an abnormal bodily protuberance or localized enlargement
2 : the condition of being swollen

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Synonyms for swelling


bump, knot, lump, node, nodule

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Examples of swelling in a Sentence

There was a swelling above her eye. The swelling around her eye should subside in a few days.

Recent Examples on the Web

But only a minor swelling of the sea was observed in several cities about half an hour after the earthquake struck. chicagotribune.com, "Powerful earthquake jolts northwest Japan, no major damage reported," 18 June 2019 The symptoms include intense pain and swelling and stiffness in affected joints. Robert Rhoden, nola.com, "Tormented by pain, Mandeville veteran continues quest for state-of-the-art prosthetic," 4 June 2019 The product doesn’t contain the irritants that are commonly used in a lip plumper, Hu says, adding that the results over time are reflective of true improvement in lip quality rather than a temporary swelling from the irritants. Talia Abbas, SELF, "We Asked Derms How to Keep Dry Lips Moisturized During Winter and Here’s What They Told Us," 11 Dec. 2018 The teen did not suffer from brain swelling, but did have a fever and rash. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "What is Keystone virus? Brain-swelling sickness carried by mosquitoes can infect humans," 25 June 2018 One patient required brain surgery to remove a clot, and the other needed treatment for brain swelling. Lindsey Bever, chicagotribune.com, "Doctors in Kenya perform brain surgery on wrong patient," 5 Mar. 2018 Medication might include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling. Korin Miller, SELF, "Claire Foy on What It Was Like to Have 'Extremely Painful' Juvenile Arthritis," 9 Jan. 2019 But a new study by nerds at McGill University cautions against drinking so much water, warning that excessive fluid accumulation can, in some people, lead to low sodium levels — a condition known as hyponatremia — that can result in brain swelling. Mark Shanahan, BostonGlobe.com, "Is TB12’s hydration theory all wet?," 22 May 2018 By day three, the swelling and redness had dissipated but my face itched terribly as the top layer peeled away. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "What It’s Actually Like to Get Fraxel Laser Treatment," 21 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swelling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of swelling

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for swelling

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for swelling

The first known use of swelling was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for swelling



English Language Learners Definition of swelling

: an area on someone's body that is larger than normal because of an illness or injury
: the condition of being larger than normal


swell·​ing | \ ˈswe-liŋ\

Kids Definition of swelling

: a swollen lump or part


swell·​ing | \ ˈswel-iŋ- How to pronounce swelling (audio) \

Medical Definition of swelling

: an abnormal bodily protuberance or localized enlargement an inflammatory swelling

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More from Merriam-Webster on swelling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swelling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swelling

Spanish Central: Translation of swelling

Nglish: Translation of swelling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swelling for Arabic Speakers

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